Laurie: Thank you for having me on today!
TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Laurie: Because I don’t have an office and get easily distracted by my family, I wear noise-cancelling headphones, turned on, but without any music.
TQ: Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?
Laurie: Some of my favorite writers are JR Ward, Gena Showalter, Jeaniene Frost, Cherry Adair, Loretta Chase, Charlaine Harris, Kresley Cole, Alexis Morgan and Virginia Kantra. Their heroes are to die for! They’re driven and unapologetic in the pursuit of their goals, but until you understand their point of view, they can come across as hard, selfish, and unbending. Some of my favorite character arcs, how they change from beginning to end, are Lord Dain’s in Lord of Scoundrels and Zsadist’s in Lover Awakened.
The emotion in books by Stephenie Meyer, Loretta Chase, Lara Adrian, and Nalini Singh sweeps me away. Those authors can describe a look, a touch, or a sensation in such detail that you feel as if you’re the character and the book is about you. Reading their work pushes me to do more in mine.
And I get lost in the almost poetic-like prose from writers like Daphne Du Maurier, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Lisa Genova and Tana French. The way they describe a setting and relate it to the character’s emotion is so vivid that those places feel like part of your personal memories.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a panster?
Laurie: I used to write by the seat of my pants, but now that I’m writing on deadline and need to submit proposals before the book is written, I’m becoming more of a plotter. Having a road map ahead of time is great because it allows me to work out the kinks before committing myself. Talk about depressing when you realize a scene isn’t working in the overall scheme of things and you have to cut out something you love. Although I don’t plot in great detail—just high-level stuff—it prevents a lot of heartache later.
TQ: What inspired you to write Bonded by Blood?
Laurie: Like many authors, I tried writing in several other genres (middle grade fiction, contemporary romance, YA) before I found my writer’s voice.
I’ve always loved vampires (film, television, books) and Bonded started simply as a personal indulgence. It was fun to write, I loved the characters, and the words flowed. But I had no illusions it would go anywhere beyond my hard drive because there are a lot of great vampire romances on the shelves. It wasn’t like I saw a niche and needed to fill it.
When my sister (who is published now, too) finaled in RWA’s Golden Heart contest and wanted me to attend the national conference with her, I decided to go only if I finished the story.
During this time, I told an author friend that I was writing a vampire romance but had no expectations for it. She said the industry was always looking for strong voices, no matter the story. Don’t worry about the market now, just focus on what makes my world unique. This gave me a glimmer of hope.
So I finished Bonded before the conference and polished it up afterward. It did well in a few contests, which led to landing an agent, who soon found an editor who loved it.
The moral of the story is this: Listen to your sister and smart friends, trust your instincts, and never underestimate the power of a deadline.
TQ: What sort of research did you do to create the world of the Sweetblood series?
Laurie: I researched an eclectic variety of topics which included guns, motorcycles, knives, the history of furniture, how our sense of smell works, ferry schedules, vampire sightings throughout history, high-rise building layouts, the salons of Paris in the 18th century, Porsche specs, etc.
I’ve spoken with law enforcement officials; lurked in online forums about motorcycles, location scouting and the military; watched countless videos on guns, knives and fighting; and I plan to interview a friend who works for a gaming company.
Some facts I used and others I twisted. For instance, there really isn’t a rooftop terrace at the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle, but it worked well in the story, so I made one. And in case you’re wondering, the nuns who work the ferry docks on an island are real, although the actual islands in both Bonded by Blood and Embraced By Blood are fictional.
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Bonded by Blood?
Laurie: One of my favorite scenes is where Dom and Mackenzie are sharing their favorite childhood memories. The stories they told each other defined what they hoped to recapture in the future— happiness, belonging, beauty, honor, family—whether they realized it at the time or not.
TQ: How many books are planned for the Sweetblood series? Will there be any short stories or novellas set in Sweetblood world?
Currently, there will be four books in the Sweetblood world, but I’d love to write more. I’ve also written an e-novella and I’ll have a short story in a holiday anthology.
TQ: What's next?
Laurie: Quite a lot, actually. J
1. I’m thrilled that my publisher asked me to write an e-novella set in the Sweetblood world. Hidden By Blood comes out June 1 and is a complete romance between two people you haven’t met before: Finn, a sweetblood, and Brenna, a vampire. However, you’ll recognize a few of the others.
2. The second book in the series, Embraced By Blood, comes out June 21 and is Alfonso and Lily’s story.
3. In November, I’ll have a Sweetblood short story in the anthology Holiday With A Vampire.
4. Book three is Jackson’s story and it comes out early in 2012.
5. I don’t have many details to share about book four yet, just that it’ll be out in 2012.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery
Laurie: Thanks so much for having me!!!
Bonded By Blood
A Sweetblood Novel 1
(January 18, 2011)
From the Back Cover:
Deep within the forests of the Pacific Northwest, two vampire coalitions battle for supremacy—Guardian enforcers who safeguard humanity and Darkbloods, rogues who kill like their ancient ancestors.
Movie location scout Mackenzie Foster-Shaw has always known that she’s cursed to die young. No one can protect her from the evil that has stalked her family for generations—vampires who crave her rare blood type. Until one afternoon in a wooded cemetery, she encounters an impossibly sexy stranger, a man she must trust with her life.
For Dominic, a man haunted by loss, Mackenzie satisfies a primal hunger that torments him—and the bond they share goes beyond heat, beyond love. She alone can supply the strength he needs to claim his revenge. But in doing so, he could destroy her…
Embraced by Blood
A Sweetblood Novel 2
Alfonso Serrano is a hunted man. For months he’s managed to elude the Darkbloods, vengeful foes who won’t rest until he’s dead. But he still craves one dangerous temptation: Lily DeGraff, the sexy Guardian agent he’ll risk anything to protect.
Lily is a wanted woman. Her talent for tracking Sweet-a rare blood type that’s addictive to vampires-makes her a prime target for enemy capture. Her only hope is the stealthy vampire operative who stole into her bed...then left her in despair. Danger aside-Lily won’t let Alfonso near her heart again-until an irresistible hunger draws them back together...and into an assassin’s snare.
She is a member of Romance Writers of America®, Greater Seattle Area RWA, RWAOnline, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, FF&P (RWA chapter devoted to all things paranormal), and two book clubs.
When not writing, she can be found running, reading, or riding and showing her horse. Someday she hopes to qualify for the Quarter Horse World Show – that is, if her horse doesn’t get hurt again.
What: One commenter will win a signed copy of Bonded by Blood (Sweetblood 1) directly from Laurie!
How: Leave a comment answering this question asked by Laurie:
Do any of you have an experience where giving in to an indulgence led to something great?
Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.
You may receive additional entries by:
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3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.
There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.
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Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, March 23, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.
*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*